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Shell’s Norco refinery at 95% capacity

NineMSN (Australia): Shell’s Norco refinery at 95% capacity

“Shell, which ranks as one of the largest producers in the Gulf of Mexico, last week warned that oil and gas output from its vast Mars field might not resume flowing until 2006.”

Tuesday 13 Sept 2005

09:39 AEST Tue Sep 13 2005 AAP

Shell Oil’s hurricane-hit Norco refinery is at 95 per cent capacity and will soon be at full operation, the company says.

Hurricane Katrina slammed into Louisiana and Mississippi on August 29 with deadly winds and flooding that affected Shell’s crude oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico as well as its local refineries and petrol marketing operations.

“The Motiva Norco Refinery is back in operation and anticipates running at about 95 per cent of crude throughput capacity today. The remainder is anticipated to come online over the next few days,” Shell said in a statement.

The company also said its Motiva Convent refinery has returned to normal operations.

Shell and Saudi Refining jointly own Motiva Enterprises, which runs both refineries.

The Norco plant has a capacity of 240,000 barrels per day of crude, while the Convent one has a capacity of 225,000 bpd.

Shell also said its chemical plants were returning to normal operations.

“The Norco chemical plant in Louisiana is getting ready for start-up. The Mobile facility in Alabama is nearly fully operational,” Shell said in a statement.

The Norco plant produces base chemicals while the Mobile plant produces base chemical feedstocks and fuels.

“The Geismar, Louisiana, chemical plant continues to operate at 60 per cent of its capacity, limited by offsite logistics and feedstock availability,” Shell said.

Shell, which ranks as one of the largest producers in the Gulf of Mexico, last week warned that oil and gas output from its vast Mars field might not resume flowing until 2006.

The company said it was still trying to assess the hurricane’s damage to the Mars and Ursa area, Mensa and Cognac production.

In the first half of 2005, Shell produced an average 450,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the Gulf of Mexico.

On Friday, the company said its production had returned to about 160,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

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